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Rewarding The Ticketless


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COVENTRY, Vt. -- One of the big worries about a two-day festival planned by the jam band Phish next month is that people without any of the 70,000 tickets that were sold will come anyway.

Now some neighbors of the Newport State Airport site where the concert is to be held are offering up their properties as places to camp and, to the extent possible, to join in the party.

Julian and Maureen Rogers are planning to rent camp sites on their hillside property with a mile-distant view of the concert site. In addition to the view, they'll have speakers to play the simulcast of the concert being planned by a local radio station.

The price for camping on the former dairy farm? $50 _ or $75, if you want the privilege of swimming in the Rogers' pond.

"We're not out to milk anybody," Maureen Rogers said. "The price seems reasonable. We're doing it for the people."

The two-day concert will mark the rock group's farewell performance after a 20-year career that lifted the Vermont quartet to international fame.

A few hundred fans have already booked reservation as far away as Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and California, thanks to newspaper ads and Internet bulletin boards, according to Rogers.

The family decided last week to open about 100 acres of their farm, which is now devoted to feed crops and calves for breeding, to those Phish enthusiasts who might otherwise try to crash the gate in desperation. Concert tickets originally cost $149.50, but scalpers have been selling them on the Internet for as much as $900.

"There are going to be so many turned away," Maureen Rogers said. "We heard through the grapevine that 70,000 tickets were sold, but twice that many could show up. We're creating a solution."

Dave Werlin, the Massachusetts promoter of the event, said he's not sure offering off-site camping is a good idea. He said he's worried that alternate accommodations in Coventry will increase traffic snarls, add to parking problems and pose a threat to public health and safety.

Werlin wonders if fans without Coventry tickets will merely use off-site campgrounds "as a staging area to break into the concert."

Impossible, said Maureen Rogers. "They'd have to go through a swamp, cross a river and find their way through the woods," she points out. "They can't make it."

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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I think this idea sucks,just a cash grab for that farmer. The last thing we should be doing is helping out the gatecrashing scum. Somewook is going to die crawling through the woods to get to the show, and it's all Trey's fault!!

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yeah really,, i'm not even the biggest phish phan, but it definatly seems like if your within a mile of the venue it won't be that hard to get in,

and they definatly have no idea what there getting into, you can just let 1000 people stay on your property, party and do drugs and expect nothing to happen

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